Outlook 2038: Experts Weigh In

What’s the future of security?

Access control and identification, alarm systems, computer security, guard services, fire prevention and detection, locks, keys and safes--the multiplex of components that form the security industry are countless. From the manufacturers that develop these technologies to the dealers that distribute them and the end-users that deploy them, security can expect to continue to see a steady increase in growth into the next century. This month, the leading security experts in the field assess where we’ve been, what we’ve seen and what we can expect to see in the next 30 years.

Looking back
For the North American market, the economic conditions prevalent in the beginning months of 2008 did not lend a promising outlook for the year to come, as the housing market crisis left many families unable to pay the mortgages on their homes. Discussion as to whether the U.S. was indeed in a recession made newspaper headlines. Further more, the wake of the financial crisis became a grim reality as the stock market economy suffered with the Dow Jones dropping 777 points this past September. Receiving loans from leading national lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac became less of a possibility as banks also cut down available credit and funding to the consumer.

Yet the security industry seemed for the most part unfazed. Product developments, new marketing strategies, buying motives and security/IT coordination helped push the industry forward to its current state. According to IMS Research, Austin, Texas, the billion dollar security industry had a 45 percent increased growth in 2007 in the market of network cameras, video servers and network video recorders (NVR). The security industry did see a slower start in increased developments and product needs because of the struggling U.S. economy, but IMS Research pointed to continued network video surveillance product growth, albeit at a slower pace. In addition, market growth is expected to recover by 2012 as the trend to network surveillance specifications continues.

The transition from closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance systems to analog to digital, the move from copper wire to fiber optics and new innovation in access control contributed to some of the developments in security solutions today.

“The move from analog to digital was one of the biggest achievements the security market has seen since 10 years ago,” said David Goffinet, senior vice president and chief operating officer, Image Vault, New Albany, Ind., a brand of FireKing Security Group. “The fact is you can get to the video from remotely anywhere. There’s been this blending of the security devices and IT, and really it’s the infrastructure that brought the technology forward.”

Yet the security market did not see as much unification to a common technological platform.

“The way the industry had operated in the past is – it was very fragmented,” said Dave Tynan, vice president of Sales and Marketing, Avigilon, Vancouver, Can. “There was the butting of technologies against each other, and it was the ‘mine is better then yours’ scenario.”

With advancing technologies, the desire for multi-layered technology versus single solutions became a demand as end-users sought to minimize complexity. End-users started to see more of a need for simplicity and the development of basic components became critical.

“Overall, the creation of the microprocessor has enabled manufacturers to develop more intelligent security and video devices,” said Dr. Bob Banerjee, product marketing manager, Bosch Security Systems Inc., Fairport, N.Y. “As processors continue to become faster and more powerful, we will be able to move more capabilities to the edge of a system by embedding greater functionality into edge devices.”

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